Victory Statue - CODAworx

Victory Statue

Submitted by Vincent Tolpo

Client: Monument Fund

Location: SHAWNEE, CO, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $130,000

Project Team


Vincent Tolpo


Carolyn Lee Tolpo


Dave Engle


“Victory” a bronze sculpture by Vincent Tolpo from Shawnee, Colorado. The art work is 13 feet tall and placed on a historic 80 foot tall Civil War monument in Freeport, Illinois. The monument, adjacent to the Stephenson County Courthouse, originally dedicated in 1871, had an original heroic-sized “Victory” sculpture. The new “Victory” statue for Freeport has the same inspired posture and universal appearance as the original of 1871. In the search for old photographs of the original “Victory” Tolpo was assisted by the Stephenson County Historical Society. These photographs were used to recreate the costume and pose of the new “Victory”. Tolpo was charged with the difficult challenge of replacing the destroyed “Victory” with a new “Victory” while maintaining the artistic integrity of a contemporary work of art. The new “Victory” has been approved by the State of Illinois Historic Preservation office because the Soldier’s Monument has National Historic Designation. The sculpture has a decidedly contemporary visage that does not glorify the horrors of war but rather shares in the feeling of loss and despair. There is a certain cynicism in “Victory”.


The monument, adjacent to the Stephenson County Courthouse, originally dedicated in 1871, had an original heroic-sized "Victory" sculpture on top. The original "Victory" statue was destroyed by lightening in 1960. This effort was to replace the statue with a contemporary version of Victory. Vincent Tolpo was selected by a committee of Freeport citizens to create the work. The work was approved by Illinois Historic Preservation as appropriate to the monument. The work was completed on time in 2015.


The latest technology back in the 1870's was electro-plating. The original "Victory" was first sculpted by Giovanno Meli in terra- cotta and then electro-plated with copper to achieve the appearance of bronze. The latest technology in 2015 is digital technology. The new "Victory" used a live digital scan of a Freeport woman costumed like the original "Victory". The digital scan produced a small-scale working statuette which was 3-D printed. This statuette, digitally corrected by the artist, was then digitally sent to California for the milling of the full-scale "Victory" in high density foam. This final full-sized foam sculpture was hand-refined and defined by artist, Vincent Tolpo. It was cast in bronze at Art Castings of Illinois located in Oregon, Illinois.

Additional Information

This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Anna Lee and Donald Ray Kraft Trust